Tag Archives: Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc

‘DFO has to step in,’ says fisheries official of St. Marys Bay black market lobster

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans says there are “clear indications” of abuse in the First Nations food, social and ceremonial lobster fishery underway this summer in St. Marys Bay, N.S. Since June, non-Indigenous lobster fishermen have complained that some Indigenous fishermen are using the fishery to cloak a black market lobster fishery. “They are making it clear DFO has to step in,” said Morley Knight, assistant deputy Minister with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Bay of Fundy lobster fisherman Chris Hudson liked what he heard. “We are satisfied with what DFO had to say. We’re anxiously looking to see if they do what they say, and that is enforce the rule of law, which is all we are asking,” click here to read the story 19:56

Ottawa attacks fishermen

Finance Minister Bill Morneau sucker-punched Canadian business owners, and now Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc wants to finish fishermen off. Mr. Morneau’s attempted seizure of retirement savings held by small business owners, farmers, doctors and lawyers has already been well-documented. In a similar attack, Mr. LeBlanc is going after fishermen, many of whom have spent decades building retirement nest eggs from their investments in licences and vessels. While he’s at it, Leblanc is using the same kind of Orwellian double-speak, and engaging in the sort of sham consultative processes, that Mr. Morneau has attempted. In a speech this summer in Chester, Nova Scotia, Mr. LeBlanc said he wants to “bring our government’s support for the middle class to life through a progressive fisheries policy.” Sound familiar? click here to read the op-ed 11:12

Grand Bank council to discuss new Arctic surf clam licence with LeBlanc

Last week’s announcement by federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc a new Arctic surf clam licence will be issued for next year is concerning news for the Town of Grand Bank. Mayor Rex Matthews raised the topic during the town’s council meeting on Monday afternoon. Matthews said a council delegation has a 30-minute meeting scheduled with LeBlanc on Wednesday afternoon in St. John’s, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal cabinet ministers are meeting this week for an annual retreat. “The problem is it’s taking away existing quota from our fish plant here in Grand Bank,” Matthews said, adding the change could have a major impact on the facility. click here to read the story 15:33

Federal fisheries minister says he’ll ensure fishermen leave a ‘minimum amount of rope’ on the water

As federal fisheries officials consider changes in the industry to avert whale deaths, some lobster fishermen are concerned about the potential effect on their livelihood. Last week, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the federal government will bring “absolutely every protection to bear” to prevent further deaths of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.,,, LeBlanc said he’s mulled changes in fishing gear, including ensuring fishermen leave a “minimum amount of rope” floating on the surface.,,, But some fishermen say longer lines are necessary to make sure balloon and buoy markers, which are connected by rope to the traps, remain on the surface in strong currents. Susan Beaton agrees. Beaton said she’s worried a decision will be made too hastily. click here to read the story 21:51

All options to protect right whales ‘on the table,’ says Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc

The federal government will bring “absolutely every protection possible to bear” to prevent any further deaths of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc pledged on Thursday. His department is working closely with Transport Canada to address the “serious and troubling situation” and will provide whatever resources are necessary to protect the endangered species as well as the people who work near the whales, he said during a news conference in Moncton. The government is prepared to “take all necessary steps.” “Every option to protect right whales is on the table,” he said, citing changes to shipping lanes, surveillance flights or changes to fishing gear as being among the possibilities.  click here to read the story 12:53

LeBlanc vows to save ‘majestic’ whales after deadly summerclick here to read the story 15:20

Fisheries licensing process for Inshore Fishermen has to be fair: minister

One of the concerns for the future of the inshore fishery in this province is how difficult it can be for potential new entrants to obtain fishing licences and financial backing for vessels and gear. The issue was addressed by federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc in a speech to the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation in Nova Scotia on Tuesday. LeBlanc said he wants to make the licensing process for inshore fishermen fairer, and is looking for their input into how best to do it. “Fishing licences have become over-valued in recent years,” the minister said. “This makes it extremely difficult for young fishermen to access the fishery, and more often than not prevents new entrants altogether.,, click here to read the story 09:46

Canada using fishery closures to count toward promised 5% marine conservation target

Canada has moved a little closer to meeting its target to protect five per cent of the country’s oceans by the end of 2017, but some are concerned about the methods the government is using to reach that goal. To coincide with World Oceans Day, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced on Thursday that St. Anns Bank, covering 4,364 square kilometres east of Cape Breton, is officially Canada’s latest marine protected area. Altogether, Canada is now protecting 1.52 per cent of its oceans — a far cry from the five per cent target it has promised to hit in the next seven months, though LeBlanc said there’s “other good news coming” that will take the country “to five per cent and a bit beyond.” click here to read the story 11:50

Day 9 – Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett continues hunger strike protest after call from minister

Richard Gillett is weak now and growing weaker by the hour. The once burly fisherman from Twillingate, N.L., known for his three seasons on the reality TV show “Cold Water Cowboys,” has lived in a tent on a water-only diet since April 13 on the grounds of the federal Fisheries and Oceans building in St. John’s. He spoke to reporters early Friday from his cot, his eyes glazed. His wife and daughter, one of his three teenaged children, were by his side as he apologized for mental lapses on Day 9 of a hunger strike to protest what he says is dire mismanagement of fish stocks. “It takes every bit of energy now just to talk.” Gillett, 45, said he has no plans to quit despite a phone call Thursday night from Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “He didn’t offer me anything that was solid other than a meeting in two to three weeks’ time. And that’s certainly not enough to warrant me, after my hunger strike, to get off this hill. That’s not what I’m asking.” click here to read the story 14:52:17

Richard Gillett supporters block DFO exit as workers try to leave – click here to read the story 14:58

Day 7 – Newfoundland Fisherman Richard Gillett says he’s prepared to die on hunger strike against Ottawa

Celebrity Newfoundland fisherman Richard Gillett hasn’t eaten for nearly a week, and says he’s prepared to die for his protest over fisheries management.Gillett starred three seasons on the reality TV series “Cold Water Cowboys,” but is now living in a tent at federal fisheries headquarters in St. John’s. He has slept there six nights and says he has consumed just water since starting his protest on Thursday. Gillett’s demands include a teleconference meeting with federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc and an independent review of science and management for all provincial fish stocks. His father, John Gillett, says his diabetic son has had past heart issues and, though he supports his cause, wants him to eat. A spokeswoman for LeBlanc says the minister is not available to discuss the hunger strike or other recent protests about the fishery. Link 15:47

Hunger Strike – FISH-NL VP protesting outside DFO in St. John’s

The vice president of FISH-NL is camping outside the Department of Fisheries and Oceans building in St. John’s in protest. Richard Gillett, a fish harvester from Twillingate, says he will stay outside the building — without food and drinking only water — until his two demands are met. “I’m going to stay here as long as it takes to get a meeting with the minister of fisheries, and I’m prepared to go all the way on this one,” he said. Gillett is vice president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), a group of fishermen trying to break away from the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union. FISH-NL is seeking to be ratified as the bargaining agent for the province’s fish harvesters. Gillett is requesting a meeting with federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, and an independent review of the relationship between DFO and the FFAW. click here to continue reading the story 15:56

Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker DFO should listen to harvesters seeing different catch rates than DFO scientists

Not all Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesters are witnessing such a dramatic decline in shellfish stocks, according to provincial Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker, who said the federal government should listen to local fishermen when deciding upcoming quotas. Local fish harvesters are seeing catch rates that don’t match up with the analysis produced by DFO scientists, according to Crocker. That analysis showed major declines in shrimp and snow crab biomass, and hinted at a dire situation for fish harvesters who rely on those stocks to make a living. Crocker said he would be speaking to federal Fisheries Minister Dominic Leblanc this week, and would urge him to listen to local fish harvesters. Read the story here 10:08

Ottawa to invest in ‘fisheries innovation’ for Atlantic Canada following EU trade deal

With Canada’s trade deal with the European Union on track to come into force provisionally within weeks, the federal government is set to announce a new fisheries innovation fund. But don’t portray this new money as a way to compensate Atlantic Canada, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc told CBC News last week. “I didn’t say compensation. That was your word,” LeBlanc said after an announcement in Vancouver last week. “What I said is that we’re prepared to work with provinces to look for a way to make our fishing industry the most innovative, productive, sustainable and globally competitive that we can.” Compensation was what Newfoundland and Labrador was looking for in the face of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which will prevent Canadian provinces from placing any export restrictions on raw fish. Continue reading the story here 08:58

Creation of a new marine protection area off British Columbia upsets fishing industry

Canada’s largest commercial fishermen’s union says the creation of a new marine protection area off British Columbia’s north coast will result in lost jobs and higher prices for seafood. The Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters’ Federation says the protection area goes too far in banning all fishing in several regions between Vancouver Island and the archipelago of Haida Gwaii. Jim McIsaac, the group’s Pacific vice-president, says the union supports safeguarding the region’s glass sponge reefs but he regrets that the Fisheries Department hasn’t followed the group’s advice after seven years of consultation. The federal government is expected to announce the new protection area on Thursday. Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the federal government does not believe preserving the glass-sponge conservation area is an either/or proposition and that it’s possible to do so while balancing the interests of the commercial fishing industry. Read the rest here 16:18

National Fisheries Institute bristles at comments by Canada’s fisheries minister

An American seafood industry association is disputing statements by Canada’s fisheries minister that Canadian producers need to “raise their game” in order to meet new traceability rules for seafood imported into the U.S. The Washington-based National Fisheries Institute, which opposes the new rules, says Canada has nothing to do with the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) catches the new Seafood Import Monitoring Program was brought in to stop. The institute was reacting to a CBC News report where federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc called increased traceability “very laudable,” even if Canada was not the target. He said Canada has been working with the U.S. government for months on this issue.  “We need to raise our game to ensure that the Americans receive the evidence they require that our fisheries are compliant, as they are,” LeBlanc said. That statement put LeBlanc offside with the National Fisheries Institute, which is part a powerhouse lawsuit launched last month to block the Seafood Import Monitoring Program brought in by the former Obama administration in December. Read the story here 15:00

Canadian seafood industry braces for new U.S. traceability rules

Canadian seafood producers will need to “raise their game” to satisfy new American seafood traceability rules, according to federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc. The Seafood Import Monitoring Program was one of the final acts of the Obama administration. It will require much more detailed information about catches before they are allowed into the United States. “We need to raise our game to ensure that the Americans receive the evidence they require that our fisheries are compliant, as they are,” LeBlanc said. The goal is stop illegal, unregulated and unreported catches from entering the U.S. The measures go into effect next January. Read the story here 08:18

Millions for harbor infrastructure improvements in West Nova

nova-infrastructure-improvements“As you know, commercial fishing is the cornerstone of many coastal communities across the province and the country,” Fraser said. “In 2015 commercial fishing contributed $6 billion to the Canadian economy. That figure represents a $1 billion increase over the previous year.” Fraser said the industry employs 76,000 Canadians and that fish and seafood is now the country’s second largest food exporter after wheat. “One of the pillars of this industry is our national network of small craft harbours,” said Fraser. “Our government supports over 1,000 of these harbours across Canada in communities such as yours. Keeping each of them safe, accessible, and in good repair requires considerable time, effort, and money.” The Projects – Camp Cove (Lower Argyle), Cape St. Mary’s, Parker’s Cove, Pinkney’s Point, Wedge Point (Wedgeport), Yarmouth Bar Read the story here 08:14:50

Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says increasing the minimum lobster size balances sustainability, economic benefits.

dominic-leblancA decision to increase the minimum size for lobsters caught in the western end of the Northumberland Strait will not be changed by the new fisheries minister. Dominic LeBlanc — MP for the riding of Beauséjour in New Brunswick — took over the portfolio when Hunter Tootoo resigned Tuesday to seek treatment for addiction. P.E.I. fishermen and others have questioned Tootoo’s recent decision to increase carapace size for Lobster Fishing Area 25. LeBlanc, who was taking questions from reporters in New Brunswick Thursday, said the decision will not be reversed and it is time to move on to other issues. Read the rest here 09:28